Have you given thanks for work lately?
With Thanksgiving approaching, now is a great time to reflect on why you’re thankful for the people and blessings in your life. And yes, work is a heavenly blessing, though it won’t always feel that way. So next time you sigh over a work email that comes in at 10 p.m., stop and consider what God has given you in the form of a job.
I’m thankful for work because I feel God’s pleasure when I work. There’s a terrific line in the classic movie Chariots of Fire. A main character debates with his sister whether pursuing a professional running career distracts him from doing “God’s work” as a missionary to China. The runner looks at his sister and says: “I believe that God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure…to win is to honor Him.”
That’s one of my favorite movie lines ever. It reflects how I feel about my work. God gifted me in the marketplace, and enabled me to serve Him there. When I use the gifts He gave me in my sweet spot, I feel God’s presence and His pleasure.
I’m thankful for work because it has given me a platform for sharing the gospel. At CBRE, around 4500 employees reported to me directly, with another 29,000 employees watching. In this visible role, my example presented a powerful opportunity “to share the gospel without saying a word” (St. Francis of Assisi) just by the way I interacted with clients, bosses, peers, and my team.
I’m thankful for work because it offers provision for families and communities. Last week, I had the opportunity to hear my friend (and 4word board member) Bonnie Wurzbacher speak in Dallas. The value of work is one topic she addressed that really stuck with me. I was the primary breadwinner for my family from 1985-2009, and I’m so grateful my work allowed me to provide for those I love. When you think about the bigger picture, business drives the economic well-being of communities everywhere. Christians tend to view work as a distraction from faith, but work is so integral to the world God created, I have to believe it must be more than a mere distraction.
Though this post is about work, how you see these issues depends on the role faith plays in your life. If your faith starts to feel like just “one more thing” to schedule into your day, you’re bound to feel faith and work are at odds. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s our vision, and our prayer here at 4word, that your faith will be transformed from yet another thing to balance (perhaps even a source of guilt), into the core that successfully fuels all other aspects of life, work included.
Why are you thankful for work?